In March the Commonwealth Government announced a new Early Childhood and Care Relief Package that aims to make childcare available for free to support families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
MCM welcomes the sentiment of this package; however, we were not eligible for the Job Keeper wage subsidy, which is critical to enable us to cover the cost of our staff. Without this subsidy, MCM incurred significant losses, which we could not sustain, and our early childhood education centres faced closure.
On Friday 1 May, we welcomed the announcement that additional funding would be made available to organisations like MCM who are not eligible for Job Keeper.
Unfortunately, the top-up payment provided is just over half of what was required to fix the funding shortfall caused by the new funding package, and we are deeply disappointed.
MCM is committed to keeping our centres open and will ensure we provide a safe and quality service to our communities while working within the funding available.
As a result, from Thursday 14 May, we are modifying our services and reducing our staffing in line with the amount of funding we are now receiving.
We deeply regret having to make these changes, and we acknowledge that this will have a significant impact on our community and particularly our valued staff.
We will continue to support our families and will follow Commonwealth guidelines to ensure priority is given to essential workers, vulnerable and disadvantaged children and previously enrolled children.
We will continue to advocate for sufficient funding for our centres during these difficult times so that we can support our families, our staff, and our communities.